LSU wraps up spring practice on Saturday with the annual spring game in Tiger Stadium.
Is LSU ready to make a statement on offense?
Going into Saturday’s tilt, Tiger fans are anxious to get a sneak peek at what the 2013 version of the Tigers will offer.
Here are two storylines for Geaux247, along with four questions we are looking to answer and seven players to keep an eye on.
1. New offensive coordinator Cam Cameron has generated a lot of excitement, not only with his players, but also with the Tiger fan base. Whether it’s a more up-tempo offense, or getting more players involved, Tiger fans are excited about the prospects of what could be an exciting offense in 2013.
Going into the spring game, however, everyone may be better served to temper their expectations for Saturday as coaches have a tendency to play things close to the vest and not give their opponents much to scheme against during the summer.
However, if Les Miles and Cameron reveal a fraction of what our sources say is the new offense then LSU fans will be excited with what they see.
You always want to see players step up and make plays whenever they have an opportunity.
But, more importantly, for me is seeing different packages and the personnel for those packages. I’m more interested in seeing the focus from the players and coaches and the pace of the action. Those things will be a better indicator than what someone does against what could amount to a scout team player in September.
John Chavis runs LSU's defense
2. John Chavis knew that he had a rebuilding job to do on his side of the ball with all of the early defections to the NFL.
There is no question he has talent to work with. There is also no question that the talent is inexperienced and unproven on the big stage.
This group is not going to look like a well-oiled machine after just 15 practices. It would be unreasonable, and unrealistic, to expect it to just as it would be on the other side of the ball.
What’s more important when you have that many open spots to fill is to see guys that take advantage of the opportunity to make plays.
Some guys who were counted on to step up this spring have done so. However, others did not. Those guys have a chance to make their presence felt and to end the spring on a good note and give them a springboard into the time of year when championship teams are made.
1. Has Zach Mettenberger really improved as much as advertised?
It’s not about how many yards or touchdowns Mettenberger throws for on Saturday against backups. It’s about him anticipating his throws better and having a better pocket presence in a game-like situation with good decision-making. It’s about him being a leader and not looking for someone to follow.
2. Can the receivers make plays when given the opportunity?
There was plenty of blame to go around with LSU’s passing game last year from the coaches to Zach Mettenberger on down to the receivers. Jarvis Landry came on strong towards the end of 2012 and has had a terrific spring with catching the ball. The bigger question is has Odell Beckham overcome his struggles from last season? And who steps up and says I want to be that third option when we go 3-wide?
3. Who plays opposite of Jermauria Rasco?
With Jermauria Rasco sitting out the spring game due to injury, Jordan Allen and Danielle Hunter will be on center stage in their battle to win the defensive end spot opposite of Rasco. Allen has been the most consistent this spring, but Hunter is the better athlete. Both will have their chance to shine on Saturday. But will they?
Corey Thomspon is locked in a battle with Ronald Martin at safety
4. Does Corey Thompson grab the reins?
Corey Thompson and Ronald Martin have been locked in a battle all spring. With Martin sitting out due to injury, Thompson has a chance to make a statement. This battle will go into fall camp for the starting spot next to Craig Loston, but Thompson has to take advantage of the opportunity that will be present on Saturday.
1. Ethan Pocic: Pocic has been very impressive all spring with how quickly he has adapted to playing center. With Elliot Porter on the shelf for Saturday, Pocic will start with the White team and snap the ball to Zach Mettenberger. Is there a battle shaping up between Porter and Pocic in fall camp?
2. D.J. Welter: John Chavis has given Welter the opportunity to start in the middle, and he has held onto it throughout the spring. His play on Saturday could distance himself from the competition, or leave room for doubt.
3. La’el Collins: Collins has finally made the move to left tackle and has had a good spring by all accounts. He will not be tested on Saturday due to a lack of depth at defensive end combined with injuries. He should look absolutely dominant if he is going to be that left tackle that Mettenberger needs protecting his blindside.
4. Micah Eugene: With Jalen Collins moving up to a starting role, Eugene is a prime candidate to be the nickel back. He will have a chance to get more playing time on Saturday with Jalen Mills being sidelined. It’s imperative that he takes advantage of it with Tre’davious White arriving to campus in a little more than a month.
5. Christian LaCouture: LSU needs someone to provide depth along the defensive front and LaCouture is a perfect candidate with his size and how quickly he has picked things up. He can take another step forward on Saturday.
6. Terrance Magee: Perhaps no other player has been mentioned as much on the offensive side of the ball this spring than Magee, with the exception of Zach Mettenberger. Cam Cameron loves what Magee can do with the ball in his hands. Will we see him utilized in this offense?